Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by thunder_dan, May 16, 2018.

  1. thunder_dan


    Nov 18, 2010
    Greetings all,
    I recently started a refinish project on a 1986 Fender Jazz Bass Special body which has been disassembled and unfinished for awhile now. Stripped to bare wood, filled with wood filler, sanded, felt and looked smooth and even. Applied sanding sealer, sanded and blasted about 3 wet coats of lacquer and I noticed small blemishes from where I went too far into the wood. Apparently, the wood filler I used was bunk or perhaps I didn't use enough? Anyhow, the body looks great, ready for clear coats, but if I add clear coats now, and sand later, will the small blemishes I see now through the lacquer remain? Will they be visible through the sanded clear coats? Should I shoot another color coat and see if they disappear? Planning on shooting about 6 wet clear coats. This is my first refinish job and the bass is staying with me forever but even having OCD, I'd like to steer clear of sanding down to the wood and starting over if possible! Any advice or help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
  3. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az

    It's likely a waste of time, but it couldn't hurt. Perhaps luck will be on your side.

    The most important, yet difficult part of finishing is getting the surface of the body perfect before you even start finishing. It really amazing how thin paint is. Every imperfection will show. I will typically use epoxy as a wood sealer, as it can result in a very smooth and uniform surface. But for me, it's the hardest part of the job.

    Keep in mind too, that one does not always have to sand a refinish down to bare wood. In fact, that's too much unneeded work in many cases.
  4. Yes. Wood prep is the hardest part. If you can see issues through a few coats of clear, a few more probably won't help. I don’t know what filler you used but mapleglo’s suggestion of epoxy as a filler is a good one. Go to the luthiers corner and look up the water based finishes thread. There is some discussion of epoxy as a filler but I don't remember exactly where in the thread it is. Sorry.
    funkinbottom likes this.
  5. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    As stated above, you will still see imperfections. It is rare that more coats will fill problem spots, and a lot of time will just compound the problem. No need to sand back to wood to fill. At this juncture, if I run into this problem, I use spot putty (like for auto body work, comes in a tube) to fill. and just sand that area. Once smooth enough to your liking, reshoot another color coat. On to clear coating, done.
  6. thunder_dan


    Nov 18, 2010
    View attachment 3019876 Thanks for the advice. I should have used the epoxy filler but I went cheap and used wood filler I had lying around the workbench. Duly noted, lesson learned. Posted some pics to show what I'm talking about. Can't see the grooves very well but they aren't very deep, more like waves in the lacquer now, that's why I was asking about another coat of color. Haven't started the clear coats yet. IMG_1391.JPG IMG_1391.JPG IMG_1388.JPG
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    Primary TB Assistant

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